Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Children's Librarian

As promised, here's another Day in the Life...!

10:00am - Today’s day started before I even got to work as I worked on an article I’m co-authoring on using blogs for teen collection development. It's based on a presentation that I did with a fellow librarian at the CYPD Conference last year.

11:00am - Writing done, draft sent off to co-author, now time to grab some lunch on my way to work. I pick up a sandwich and eat in the staff lounge before my shift begins.

12:00pm - On desk, catch up with staff member about various goings-on. It’s super quiet so I peruse the new books and select some to check out.

1:00pm - A little more work on the article and I help a homeschooler with a computer question.

1:20pm - Head back to my office to get some things done. Start answering emails and send out our article to a few trusted colleagues for general editing and looking-over.

2:00pm - Start adding things to a list of long-term projects I’d like to do with the department at some point and get off on a tangent thinking about reorganizing our picture book collection. I'm contemplating interfiling the holiday books (they already have holiday stickers) and pulling out the picture book nonfiction. But then I'm also quite intrigued by the "I Want a Truck Book" presentation by the folks at the Darien Library in Connecticut. Have a few Twitter conversations with other librarians who are thinking about it or starting the project.

3:00pm - Get responses back from colleagues about article and do some editing.

3:15pm - I work on putting together a cart of books to order in Baker & Taylor. We're wrapping up our budget year, so I'm trying to get my hands on as much significant stuff as I can to spend the rest of this year's money! My goal is always to own the Newbery and Caldecott winners (although sometimes they're a surprise!).

4:00pm - “Lunch” time! (Always so weird, the timing of meal breaks during an evening shift...) I grab a sandwich from our library cafe and take it to the staff lounge with Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (it's so good, you guys!).

5:00pm - On desk and our clerk is here until 7 tonight. It’s very slow so I do some work on an ILF presentation coming up in a couple of weeks.

6:15pm - Some small children are rough-housing in the stacks, so I head back there to break it up... parents nowhere in sight (of course). I find them some books to look at so that maybe they’ll settle down. (SOMEtimes that works.)

Answer the following reference questions:

- Where are Disney princess books?

- I need a fiction book about rodeos on a 6th grade reading level. I recommend Bull Rider by Suzanne Williams. Even though it’s only a 4.1 AR level, hopefully the teacher will accept it for the assignment. (Insert a short rant here... This particular assignment calls for kids to read a fiction and nonfiction book about the same subject. Now, if the teacher had let us know that the kids would be coming in, would could have pulled a bunch of choices for them. We could even have sent them to the classroom in a teacher collection. At the very least, we could have advised them that it would be much easier to find a fiction book first and then look for a nonfiction book about that subject. But now I've got kids who have already decided on their nonfiction topic looking for chapter fiction books about kangaroos, leopards, rodeos, etc. and then getting disappointed when the library doesn't have it. What I'm saying here is that I want teachers to know that librarians are here to help and we want you to use us!)

- I need short mysteries for a 4th grader. Another classroom is doing a genre assignment right now. We've had lots of kids coming in for mystery books. I recommended Geronimo Stilton, A to Z mysteries, and other mysteries by Ron Roy.

And one of my regular families was in tonight, so I also played puzzles with a Spanish-speaking 2-year-old and helped one of the older girls print something. 

8:10pm - The first closing announcement comes on and I start wrapping up my ILF presentation work and cleaning up the department. I turn off the computers that aren't being used, pick up any books left out around the department, and straighten up toys, chairs, and headphones. 

8:30pm - The library is closed, time to turn out lights and head on home!